BRAINFOOD: Decisions

Jeff Taylor, Founder and chairman, Monster

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

My best ...

Naming my online recruitment company Monster was the best thing I could have done. The whole idea came from a 'monster' idea.

It's a term that is used in baseball, where you have a monster home run, or you can have a monster hurricane. It just means bigger. It was pretty obvious from early on that the name didn't refer to Frankenstein or mummies. But my wife hated the name.

She said she wouldn't leave the house with me if I called it that. My employees hated the name too, and so did my customers. But my definition of an entrepreneur is someone who goes ahead with an idea, even when everyone around you thinks you're crazy. It has turned out to be a great name. It's very memorable and it translates well across different languages, which is important, as Monster is now present in 19 countries and operates in 10 languages. The name has also given us permission to do a bit more with jobseekers, since it has a bit of irreverence and humour, which is reflected in our company culture.

My worst ...

I owned an advertising agency called Adion before I started Monster. I set up the recruitment company from within the agency, and I decided when putting the Monster management team together that I wouldn't take the really top people from my ad agency, but those who were near the top instead. So, for example, I didn't ask Adion's top art director to transfer over to Monster, but used an intern turned full-time employee who happened to be working for Adion at the time.

A few years later, when Monster was getting into its stride, I ended up with some great employees at the company, but when the ad agency was merged into Monster, the top Adion employees drifted away. Over the years, about a third of them have since come back, but the others will probably stay mad at me for the rest of their lives. If I was to do it all over again, I would have been more aggressive about recruiting the best people from Adion to Monster rather than feeling that I had to leave my top people in place to manage the agency.

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